"Idle No More ain’t Occupy. It’s all those voices rising up that many in the Occupy movement resisted when they/we called on Occupy to decolonize, learn anti-oppression, and understand the systemic differences of inequality amongst the ‘99%’. Idle No More is what Occupy perhaps aspired to be, but couldn’t fully be (in many, though not all places) because of it’s lack of grounding in the lived experiences of those communities most marginalized. Humble request to Occupy - join and support Idle No More - don’t co-opt or attempt to assimilate it. PS: Idle No More also isn’t just a movement; it’s more than that. It is about Indigenous nationhood, based on centuries of resistance to colonialism and an affirmation of inherent rights to self-determination."
Harsha Walia (via unpoliceyourmind)
i would add that while some incarnations of occupy attempted to center themselves around critical anti-racist/decolonial perspectives, what sets idle no more apart is the fact that the center IS decolonization. harsha walia maps it out amazingly as always.
i’ve had this conversation with countless friends over the weekend: how frustrating is it that when mainstream feminists make missteps, we tend to see them in the media even more often than when strong voices are calling attention to various injustices and oppression? why is it so much more tempting to tear other down than to celebrate the ones who aren’t constantly fucking up re: intersectional feminism? why are my favourite pieces of writing, where people actually define a feminism that is something i want to be a part of, often written in response to these blatant failings and the ignorance of others who call themselves feminists?
aside from those moments, i also find myself frustrated to hear the same five or six “celebri-feminist” names thrown around, when i often feel like there are so many other people who have said the same things they do, better, and way before them.
in light of these unfortunate injustices, here is my (short) list of highly underrated badass feminists with handy dandy links to their websites. (keep in mind this is my personal list, and this is coming from a white-cis-queer able-bodied canadian feminist’s perspective)
White supremacy, as a dominant and dominating structuring, actually necessitates and relies on a discourse that suggests that hate crimes are random. Otherwise, whites might just have to start racially profiling all other young and middle-aged white men at airports or who are walking while white. Whites might have to analyze what young white children are being taught about in schools and in their homes about privilege and entitlement. Whites might have to own up to and seek to repair the legacy of racialized empire, imperialism, and settler-colonialism that has devastated and continues to destroy the lives and lands of millions of people across the globe.
Whites might actually have to start distancing themselves from white supremacy.
— Harsha Walia
i’m definitely still not in a place where i can write about my experience at the g20, even a year later. i can’t even re-read what i wrote about it at the time. but all weekend i kept on hearing reports and remembering things i’ve spent the past 12 months trying to make sense of.
but one thing i just want to put out there: yes, it is incredibly important to recognize the injustices committed on the day of the g20 in toronto last year. yes, i support calls for a public inquiry. yes, i think the government/police should be held accountable for their rampant disrespect of basic human rights and their acts of violence. but most importantly, i think they need to be held accountable not only for the injustices committed on the streets of toronto in the few days around the g20, but the injustices committed every single day. how come, a year later, we are hearing the sensationalist stories of “innocent bystanders” who were subjected to police brutality, but hardly a word is being said about why people were out in the streets protesting in the first place?
harsha walia wrote this on june 29th, 2010:
While I think it is important to highlight the inhumanity and violence of our detentions, it is critical to remember that humiliation and dehumanization is the purpose of the prison-industrial complex. I was personally not expecting a better ‘experience’ than the horrific one I did have given the inherent nature of the police state. For those ‘innocent bystanders” (who were explicit about not being protestors), this is an opportunity to be made aware that the horrors they experienced at the hands of the police or while in detention are not unique moments in Toronto or Canadian history. We run the risk of exceptionalizing this moment, at the expense of normalizing the daily violence of police and prisons and the criminal (in)justice system for Indigenous communities, people of colour, low income neighborhoods, street-involved youth, and trans people.
unfortunately, i think she is right. that is exactly what is happening. we’re centering the stories of “innocent” bystanders who also happen to be (generally speaking) privileged white people who were just in “the wrong place at the wrong time” instead of taking the time to talk about why a police state is harmful to all people, whether it be at a massive protest movement for human rights in the country’s largest city, or on a daily basis all across canada. there’s a lot more to say and unpack, that’s all i can really formulate for now…
"There is a sense that people rioted over a “stupid apolitical hockey game.” While I too wish people were motivated by social justice issues, the hockey game is NOT apolitical by any means. The riots were a fundamentalist defense of a type of nationalism, most evident in the beatings and stabbings of Bruins fans in Vancouver last night. NHL hockey is not simply a game, it is representative of obedience to consumerism and is part of the state’s attempt to forge a false identity —despite vast differences and inequalities across race, class, and gender, through the spectacle of sport."
— Harsha Walia, quoted by Dave Zirin in Understanding Vancouver’s ‘Hockey Riot’